Thursday, July 31, 2008
Antony Young, The President of Optimedia in the US has an interesting analysis on the comparative marketing efforts between two films featuring superheroes in Batman and Ironman, both released in 2008.
Batman's latest incarnation in "The Dark Knight" was always going to draw in the fans, with the return of the Joker, as well as the remarkably successful prelude "Batman Begins". Heath Ledger's untimely death also contributed to the film's overall awareness.
Ironman, even though a much less of an established brand with a remarkably smaller marketing budget compared to Batman, managed to secure a variety of partnerships ranging from Audi to 7-Eleven and supposedly returned more "bang-for-buck" for the various partners.
To read the in-depth analysis, click here.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
The brand has enlisted various famous Doctors from pop culture as the spokesperson. Dr Frasier Crane and basketball player Dr J are two celebrities who explain the scientific research behind the discovery that the drink tastes best when consumed slowly.
The campaign launched on TV and outdoor. There is also a fantastic and highly interactive online element with lots of extra information and downloadable content.
It has recently been revealed, however, that the song was written as a deep mental product placement idea. Brown was supposedly one of three singers hired by Wrigley Gum Brands’ advertising agency Translation Advertising. All the artists created songs based on jingles from Wrigley’s past ads.
I’m sure a lot of non-advertising fans would be writhing in agony at the revelation of yet another marketing scheme, but it’s clearly proven very effective and successful for the brand.
Via: Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Youtube user SMPfilms’ video series has made an online version of "Choose your own adventure". The adventure utilises the video response system in YouTube to make online video into a game of sorts. Users watch the first clip and then make their choice on what should happen next in the story, in exactly the same vein as the book version.
Below is the first in an adventure about someone trying to find his cat. In order to participate in the story, you'll need to watch the clip on YouTube. Perhaps not the most exciting premise for a story, but still an interesting idea to increase the level with interactivity for brands utilising such channels.
Via: PSFK, Fallon Planning
Nike’s latest integrated campaign, titled ‘Courage’, will be responsible for tying together multiple Nike initiatives, including concreting Nike’s place amongst the biggest brands at the Beijing Olympics, launching the Human Race running event, promoting the new Hyperdunk basketball sneaker as well as celebrating twenty years of the ‘Just Do It’ campaign.
The new drive will effectively be a reaffirmation of this iconic tag line, encouraging people to have the ‘courage’ to push to the next level.
The campaign will revolve around a TVC which will air first in Asia and Latin America before launching in the US early next month. The advert charts approximately 30 decisive moments from Nike’s sporting history, including Michael Jordan embracing the NBA Championship trophy and cyclist Lance Armstrong triumphing in his battle with cancer.
The TV spot aims to drive viewers to visit the Nike.com Courage website, where they can freeze on any of the 30 moments and read a narrative on its sporting, cultural and commercial significance. Users will also be able to then post their own comments and contribute to Olympic-spirited discussions about unity and sportsmanship, in a further attempt to unite cross-cultural consumers under one brand.
Via: Contagious Magazine
In a second attempt to tackle the likes of the PS3 and Nintendo Wii, Microsoft is set to take a leaf out of Facebook's open applications platform and YouTube's UGC strategy to turn the Xbox 360 brand into one that consumers associate with an innovative one.
Back in 2006, Microsoft launched the XNA platform without much success. Essentially, XNA provides a set of tools for consumers to create games for Xbox 360 and Zune platforms. At the time, the strategy didn’t yield much success. The new platform will be an extension of XNA, but provide a more comprehensive set of tools and marketing platform.
For a mere cost of $99 / year for membership, consumer developers can get access to the platform, as well as a share of the revenue generated by their development. To support the strategy, Microsoft will also be launching an online store later this year, specifically for user created Xbox 360 games.
Below's is an example of an XNA developed game.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
UK clothing retailer Topshop are allowing their customers to star in their own series of fashion shoots.
Topshop has set up temporary studios in 3 of their stores, allowing their customers to walk in, strike a pose and press a button to set lights and camera in action. Naturally, they were encouraged to dress up in the store's clothes. Customers also receive a print of their fashion shoot, and the images are posted online.
The camera and studio are based on a 70's photographer's idea. The original Helmut Newton studio came about for the sole purpose of capturing the subject as they see themselves.
A novel way to drive foot-traffic and appeal to that inner model in all of us.
The content is user-submitted and features an easy to use page viewer interface that lets you flip, zoom and scroll pages.
Users can search by title, subject matter and individual articles. An added bonus for site users is a feature that allows people to make their own “Mygazines” by collating content clipped from different sources..
According to PSFK: "Though the legality of this site is in question, there is no doubt that it has potential. Kind of like the online version of browsing magazines in a book store, Mygazines could really provide a useful alternative outlet for publishers looking to reach more readers. When it’s free, your going to attract an audience. Original ads from the print version are included too, so it’s a win for advertisers as well."An interesting idea and one with potentially far-reaching consequences for advertisers, with the vastly increased readership. It could also be a bandy tool for trend-hunters worldwide who are interested in the latest happenings from around the world.
Click here to read through some magazines yourself!
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Intel has launched an interesting online branding exercise in partnership with the BMW Sauber F1 team.
A website called "You be the Driver" has been set up which has a series of tests to help you find out whether you have what it takes to be a F1 driver. Apparently according to the first reaction test, I have what it takes to be a F1 driver.. Sadly, I didn't fare so well in the other challenges though.
There's also a driving game in keeping with the racing genre, as well a behind the scenes look at the BMW team.
The site is highly interactive, beautifully designed and does a great job at promoting each of the major sponsors for the BMW Sauber team.Well worth checking out!
Monday, July 21, 2008
In an innovative effort to encourage instant gratification for stylish guests, the hotel chain has teamed up with NETAPORTER.COM, allowing guests staying at High Road House London, Babington House Somerset and Soho House New York to enjoy same day delivery service from the website's impressive offerings.
According to Springwise: "Who says luxury is dead? Through partnerships between like-minded companies like Net-A-Porter and high-end hotels, the premiumisation possibilities are endless! Moreover, it's a great example of an online brand branching out into the offline world, getting physically closer to (new) customers without having to invest in expensive retail space."
Via: Influx Insights
Friday, July 18, 2008
Called “Never Stand Still”, the launch promotion of the new BMW flagship model had the manufacturer hide the car in 180000 silver balls which filled a 40 feet tall glass / acrylic hourglass. After 2 days, and before 400 selected guests, the top of the hourglass emptied to reveal the new car.
The hourglass took nine days to build and seems to be an awe-inspiring structure, one that is fitting with the nature of the new 7 Series.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
To mark the 60th anniversary of the Land Rover brand, the car manufacturer has unveiled a very big sculpture at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The Festival of Speed is regarded as the world’s biggest and most diverse celebration of the history of motor sport and car culture. It’s held each year at the Goodwood estate 60 miles outside of London. The festival is known for it’s yearly hillclimb event that pits cars from all eras against the clock on the 1.16 mile course that winds through the grounds.
Designer Gerry Judah, who has been designing and producing large scale sculptures for the event for over ten years was commissioned by Land Rover for the giant sculpture.
The structure weighs 120 tonnes and is held together by nearly 5000 bolts. Anchored to the structure is a selection of 5 current and classic Land Rover models.
Must have been quite an impressive sight and shows off the brands heritage rather well, in my opinion.
In a further attempt to show how eco-unfriendly our daily lives have become, the French have come up with an innovative way to draw attention to the air quality in Paris.
A colour-changing helium weather balloon shifts between for colours to indicate how good or bad the current air quality is, with green being clean air, and red being highly-polluted air. The balloon does not sense the air pollution itself, but uses data from a local air quality organisation and can be seen from up to twelve miles away.
It seems like a very good idea to show people what the up-to-the-minute air quality is like, but will it convince people to alter their plans on the spot and walk, instead of driving?
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
A collaboration between Nike and the US Military, with Nike supplying boots designed specifically for the Special Forces. The boots are super lightweight and have the Nike Free sole and extra-long laces to serve as makeshift tourniquets.
According to PSFK, "if there’s one person who can truly personify the Just Do It! slogan of Nike, it’s a Special Forces agent."
We probably won't be able to pick up a pair of these at the local X Trainer unfortunately, so enlisting with the Special Forces might be the only way for all you sneaker heads to get your hands on these Nikes.
adidas, the official kit supplier of the New Zealand All Blacks, has launched an interesting fully integrated campaign including the traditional above the line channels, viral and online. The most interesting and innovative channel, in my opinion is that of nanotechnology.
The use of nanotech allows the brand to garner even more involvement and allows All Blacks fans to submit their name, which will be etched via nanotechnology onto the Adithread, as well as sharing their ‘This is Not a Jersey’ mantra via the website www.thisisnotajersey.com.
The thread will be stitched into the fern badge of an All Blacks jersey which will be presented to captain Richie McCaw, and the virtual thread with all of the submitted names is be available to view online.
The site is also highly interactive and has a dedicated section that showcases mantras from the entire team, with their own statements written on a jersey, navigatable through a beautifull dark and moody flash interface.
The introductory film on the site also stirs up all the feelings of belonging to a tribe and supporting a team, and the significance of wearing your country’s colours with emotive statements such as ‘this is not a uniform, but a country unified’ and ‘this is not a souvenir, this is a reminder of all who have worn it before us’.
The campaign places adidas, as well as the All Blacks’ day to day supporters, firmly at the heart of the team, using the jerseys as membership to a distinct tribe and installing in them some responsibility for the team’s success.
Perhaps they may have the best kit sponsors, with the use of cutting edge technology and a wonderful campaign to boot, but stopping Ricky Januarie is clearly a whole another matter entirely.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Creed, known for conveying messages on serious topics with an ironic point of view (with artistic works about vomiting, and the "F*ck Off" Project dedicated to Macintosh computers), has decided to infuse the world of art and sports.
Known as the 'Work No.850', the "display" is dedicated to the beauty of human motions. Puma's part comes in the form of the official supplier of designer sportswear with Puma shoes for running and other clothes and equipped people in Puma running in the Tate Gallery’s passages as quickly as possible. The event occurs every 30 seconds until the 16th of November.
A rather different take on brand placement and sponsorships, but one that would surely generate a disproportionately high amount of PR for the brand in a fresh way.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Walt Disney has announced that in October, a 50th anniversary edition of the classic animated movie "Sleeping Beauty" will be released in high-definition Blu-ray format, in an attempt to re-awaken interest in Blu-ray DVDs.
The interesting thing about the re-release of the animated classic is that it will also come with unusual features in order to attract modern day consumers who crave embrace elements of interactivity and social networking.
Viewers can watch the movie in tandem with friends in other locations and chat using a laptop, P.D.A. or cellphone - with the comments appearing on the screen. Unusual uses would then allow parents who are not able to watch the film with their children to record a video message that will pop up during a designated scene as the child watches. Viewers will also be able to compete against others around the world at trivia.
All of these activities are possible because of a technology that connects Blu-ray discs with the Internet, which the entertainment industry is calling BD Live. Disney and other studios, including Lionsgate and Sony, believe that BD Live could be Blu-ray’s killer app, potentially altering the somewhat muted response that consumers have reacted with Blu-ray to date.Although “Sleeping Beauty” is Disney’s first BD Live-enhanced Blu-ray release, all of the company’s future Blu-ray titles will include BD Live features.
Via: New York Times
Now, it would appear that even members of the British royalty are setting the example for the noble fuel-saving cause. Prince Charles has converted his 38 year old Aston Martin - a gift from the Queen - to run on bio-ethanol. Post conversion, the car now reports consumption figures of ten miles per gallon, which equates to about 45 bottles of wine per ten miles. The wine, though, puts out 85-percent less CO2 and costs £1.10 per liter, which is less than the cost of petrol in Britain.
It has been reported that a vineyard in Wiltshire has been producing surplus wine that is sold to Green Fuels, a company which specialises in the conversion of wine into fuel.
Via: Daily Mail
The unique billboard shows the egg starting to ‘hatch’ in the early morning hours. By breakfast’s time, the billboard egg is fully hatched, displaying ‘Fresh Eggs Daily’ on the egg’s yolk. The egg stays open between 6:00AM and 10:30AM, indicating the availability of fresh eggs for breakfast during that interval. Later, the egg starts closing up again and returns to its ‘whole’ state. The next day, the same cycle is performed and the egg billboard starts hatching again.
With the Tour de France in full swing, some of the marketing efforts this year has begun to come to light. With 21 stages set up along the race, which began July 5th until July 27th, each location is an opportune location for advertisers to target fans.When the cyclists passed through the western France city of Saint-Malo, promoters tried to sell the canary yellow bags to fans.
According to Trendunter: "Judging by the photo, spectators seemed disinterested in the merchandise and fixated on the racing track. When the cyclists aren’t present, however, shopping could become therapy to deal with boredom."
Marketing efforts are also underway online, with sales of featured Lance Armstrong posters which read, “Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.”
There are also other Armstrong items like the Lance Armstrong 7X Champion Commemorative Framed Photographs selling for $225.
With dedicated fans lining each of the stages, and millions more following their favorite cyclists online, it seems that there would be many more opportunities for marketers to engage with their audience. Sadly, judging by the feedback provided by Trendhunter, brands did not really apply all that much imagination to their efforts and yet another great opportunity has been missed. Maybe next year....
Friday, July 11, 2008
Designed by a Spanish communications agency called Baud, the packaging for the Lazarus wine bottles incorporates Braille inscriptions along with some warm colours for those who still have the gift of sight - resulting in an attractive and eye-catching packaging.
Collectors are rewarded with a cash refund of approximately 20 US cents per bottle, festival goers can clean up in more ways than one. Many attendees have said to have recouped the cost of their ticket while helping keep the environment clean.
It’s reported that 97% of cups used at Roskilde’s concession stands are brought back for recycling. At the end of the 80,000 person event, the staff collected abandoned air beds, stereos and sleeping bags for donation and recycling. Over 1,600 sleeping bags were donated to the homeless.
Via: The Guardian
Yahoo has opened up a new platform allowing developers to congregate and build their own search engines in order to gain some much lost ground in terms of global market-share among search engines.
Yahoo BOSS will allow people to customize the way they scour the web, building their own mini search engines using an API (applications programming interface).
According to Yahoo, “The goal of BOSS is simple: to foster innovation in the search industry,” Yahoo explains on the site. “Developers, start-ups, and large Internet companies can use BOSS to build and launch web-scale search products that utilize the entire Yahoo! Search index. BOSS gives you access to Yahoo!’s investments in crawling and indexing, ranking and relevancy algorithms, and powerful infrastructure. By combining your unique assets and ideas with our search technology assets, BOSS is a platform for the next generation of search innovation, serving hundreds of millions of users across the Web.”
A monetisation platform will be launched in a few months for the platform in order for Yahoo! to expand its ad network and enable BOSS partners to jointly participate in the compelling economics of search.
The monetisation service will be in exchange for letting Yahoo tap search terms from the various platforms.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Google and cartoonist Seth MacFarlane have been developing the latter’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy, a 50-episode web series that will use the AdSense system to distribute the clips to websites that reliably attract a young male audience.
Each Cavalcade clip will incorporate an ad (possibly as a pre-roll, a 'brought to you by' message or as a banner at the bottom of the frame), and will replace the typical static ads that AdSense generally delivers.
The business model is said to be pretty straightforward: for each click on a Cavalcade clip, the associated advertiser pays a fee that is shared among MacFarlane, Google, the site that generated the click and Media Rights, the company negotiating the advertising deals.
Chevrolet erected a 20 foot billboard in London made up of over 20000 pennies. The installation was said to have lasted a mere 30 minutes before passers-by cleaned it up.
The penny billboard was unveiled in London’s New Oxford Street to advertise the 769,500-pence starting price of the new Chevrolet Aveo.
Via Trendhunter: “There has been some great car adverts before, but none that have stopped traffic and actually put money back into the motorist’s pocket so this is certainly a first,” said Les Turton of Chevrolet. “We’re glad we’ve topped up lots of people’s wallets, purses and, in some cases, rucksacks, but it would have been nice for the billboard to last a little longer than 30 minutes.”
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Participants were invited to make use of the Nastro Azzurro bottle as their source of inspiration in their designs and the results are quite astounding. 33 finalists have now been chosen, with their work showcased in a traveling exhibition called Unbeerlievable Collection 2008.
Click here to view some of the work.
Livegrids reports of Ferrari's latest way to satisfy these premium-thirsty consumers by offering a novel option of allowing the buyer to design his/her own ride, at a small price tag of 2 million euros.
Customisation, exclusivity and rarity, I'm not sure there's a better example for premium offerings out there at the moment.
Click here to view more beautiful designs from Livegrid's gallery.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
The US version of the Toyota Prius is set for a redesign next year, rumours are now abound that the new version will have solar panels added to the hybrid vehicle’s roof, a first for any automaker.
The optional solar panels will be used predominantly to run the car's air conditioning.
There's also talks of a plug-in version, as well as a smaller addition to the Prius line, a wagon version, and even a lithium-ion battery-toting hybrid in Lexus trim.
Interestingly, Toyota will also be pushing a line of stylishly designed prefabricated houses compatible with the plug-in Prius, essentially turning your home into a fueling station.
Toyota prefabs are already available in Japan and last year, these units accounted for only .5% of the company's $262 billion in annual sales. The latest push should mean even higher turnovers for the motor manufacturer.
Via: Dvice, Jetson Green
The brand has also moved into the art sphere by commissioning 11 Berlin artists to create artworks inspired by the brand's iconic 12.12 polo and crocodile logo.
Gallery 12.12 includes sculptures, installations, collages and video-installations by various artists, whose works have now been installed in one of the 11 windows of the prestigious KaDeWe Department Store in Berlin. The art is available via silent auction online at www.lacoste.com/1212berlin with the artists splitting the proceeds equally with the youth charity StreetUniverCity Berlin e.V.
To view some more of the artwork, click here.
A Uk-based company by the name of "Sweemo", hopes to do for consumers' experiences what eBay did for products. According to the company, they connect “those who have with those who want to”.
Sweemo, whose name stands for “sweet moments,” allows people to bid on thrilling experiences like extreme speed sailing on the Hugo Boss luxury yacht, a luxury getaway complete with Ferrari F430, dinner at home with a personal chef or a 15 second cameo in a movie.
Their offering matches their slogan of “Live more than one life” rather aptly.
Do you have a sweet life you want to share with others?
Sweemo says the site can be used to:
Buy - a meeting with celebrities and other exciting opportunities.
Sell - your access to the coolest parties or exclusive experiences.
Swap - to share your life with our global community.
Request - that backstage pass or introduction to stardom.
Click here to see whether there are any experiences that might appeal to you.Via:Trendhunter, Springwise
Monday, July 7, 2008
Red Bull will launch 15 Webisodes aimed at demonstrating how action sports push boundaries, documenting athletes as they perform seemingly impossible feats through discipline and daring.
One installment is devoted to motorcycle competition MotoGP. The show begins with archival material and provides a detailed look at how two-wheeled racing has evolved. The episode features MotoGP world champion Nicky Haden as he races at Laguna Seca on his titanium and carbon fiber Honda RC212V.
The series take a soft-sell approach, and the integrations don't showcase specific Red Bull products or overtly push the brand. Instead, interactive contextual overlays give viewers the chance to explore the world of actions sports and -- hopefully -- forge deeper bonds with Red Bull, said Darren Chuckry, COO at MEN7. Ultimately, the creators hope the series, which debuts in September, gets picked up for broadcast on traditional television.
Featured on the site based on the future 20 years from now are smart, on-demand car delivery services, skinnable car exteriors (which, by the way, has already been done by BMW) and the death of traffic jams as we know them. There's also a series of interviews with VW researchers and designers unveil their visions of electric-driven Single Occupant Vehicles, holographic projections, gesture controlled dashboards, and emission free automobiles.
Scheduled to go up in Times Square this December, the solar and wind powered giant ad is only the third in the world. The other two are Pacific Gas & Electric’s in San Francisco and Ricoh’s original eco billboard in Tokyo.
The ad’s lighting will be powered by 45 solar panels and 4 wind turbines. The designers decided that the system will be completely nature powered and have not installed any kind of back up power source, meaning that if it happens to be a cloudy day with no wind, the ad will not be illuminated.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Accrding to PSFK and Trendhunter, Tag Heuer will soon be launching Meridiist, a luxury cell phone possibly created for those who aren’t buying Tag Heuers anymore, with watches having becoming more obsolete with the prevalence of cellphones today.
Just like Tag Heuer’s timepieces, the Meridiist is built to exact specifications. The phone is made from watch-making stainless steel and has two unscratchable 60.5 carat sapphire crystal displays. It displays the time in a 96×76 monochromatic OLED screen in the upper part of the phone and comes with a 2.0 megapixel camera, MP3 player and bluetooth technology.
At a small price of $6100, is this just another phone with a fancy brand?
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Constructed much like an online treasure hunt, users are rewarded not in monetary treasure, but with increasingly odd content.
All the sites are linked together via a neat interface at the bottom of the screen, meaning users can scroll through oddities such as outofyourleaguegirl.com (a video-based site in which a hottie gives advice on dating to hapless men) and iseverythinggoingtobeokay.com.
Start legitimately wasting time by clicking here.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Cartier has created a MySpace profile, featuring songs from 12 artists, including the likes of Lou Reed and Marion Cotillard. Users can listen to them on MySpace or download them for free at a Cartier mini-site.
According to MySpace, the profile had already recorded around 100,000 views in the first few days,.
"There's this misperception in the market about MySpace being a youth site, a site for teens," said Travis Katz, managing director-international operations for MySpace. "But 85% of our audience in the U.S. is over 18, and 40% of all moms in U.S. are on MySpace." He claims that MySpace reaches more people making $100,000-plus than other social-network competitors, such as Facebook.
Via: Advertising Age
Nike, even though did not sponsor Spain, are coming out as winners with their association with the more tangible, individual stars.
Sony’s new Bravia line of televisions will be able to receive downloads via the Internet without hooking up to cable or satellite. The same will likely apply for the Playstation 3, which will roll out its digital movie download service.
If these devices can get access to Sony movies before they are released anywhere else, that could certainly help the company move more units — as well as give it a foothold in an arena it’s already late to: Digital distribution in the living room.